Mercury New Media has been named a semi-finalist for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s “Small Business of the Year” award. It is one of only 30 companies in the Tampa area to receive this designation; finalists will be designated in July.

“Being named a semi-finalist is an honor as we seek to expand our footprint in the web arena,” said Chris Karlo, partner at Mercury New Media. “We are eager to work with other local businesses and organizations to help them raise their visibility online and improve their sales and recognition.”

The Chamber’s Small Business of the Year competition recognizes a select group of high-performing small businesses (under 250 employees) in the greater Tampa area, scoring companies based on their management practices, historical leadership, and innovation, in addition to other business metrics. Mercury was nominated for the award in March.

For additional information, contact Melissa Inama at (813) 933-9800 ext. 2422.

Mercury New Media, a web consultancy firm in Tampa, plans to add four people to its staff this year. The company, formerly known as Mercury Web Technologies, specializes in website and custom web-based application development and marketing. Founded in 1998, the web company has since designed, developed and managed hundreds of websites, and has grown from one employee to 12. Their clients include both domestic and international customers. 

“We will be adding a total of four people to our staff this year,” says Chris Karlo, a partner at Mercury New Media. “We will be hiring a web developer, a project manager, and account managers.”

Karlo explains that one of the most important traits that the company looks for in a potential employee is professionalism

“Working in the technology industry, we definitely look for raw technical skills, but there is a need for certain business acumen as well,” Karlo says. “We build our business around providing solutions for our customers, so professionalism is very important.”

The company has been based in Tampa since its inception, and Karlo says that will not change. 

“We have talked in the past about opening offices in other cities, but we have not fully maximized the opportunities here inTampa yet,” he says. “There is so much opportunity in the area, and we need to fulfill our potential here before we move into other cities.”

Mercury New Media is at 2902 Busch Lake Blvd. in Tampa.

Original Author: Kimberly Patterson

See: Original Story at 83 Degrees

Mercury New Media has joined the Microsoft Partner Network, with recognition for its expertise in web development and mobility.

“Our acceptance into the network underlines the impact we are making in the technology marketplace,” says Chris Karlo, partner at Mercury. “Being a part of this program validates our adherence to the strict standards and guidelines that Microsoft requires from software development companies it works with.”

The Microsoft Partner Program features a range of benefits for Mercury and its clients:

  • The ability for Mercury to stay abreast of emerging Microsoft technologies and deepen its skills in their deployment
  • Tools and resources to help Mercury develop best-in-class web-based solutions for clients
  • Periodic client satisfaction audits conducted by Microsoft to ensure that client solutions are delivered in highly professional manner.

For additional information, contact Melissa Inama at (813) 933-9800 ext. 2422.

The Horizon Interactive Awards, a leading international interactive media awards competition, announced the 2010 award winners to highlight this year’s “best of the best” in interactive media production.

Mercury New Media was recognized with a Bronze Award at the 9th Annual Horizon Interactive Awards Competition for their work on the JHS Capital Advisors website.

The Horizon Interactive Awards was created to recognize excellence in interactive media production worldwide. Since 2001, the competition has received many thousands of entries from countries around the world and nearly all 50 US States. The ninth annual, international competition saw over 1000 entries from 22 countries around world including: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, and the United Kingdom, and nearly all 50 of the United States of America. An international panel of judges, consisting of industry professionals with diverse backgrounds, as well as an end user panel evaluated 37 different categories ranging from online advertising to mobile applications. The 2010 winning entries showcase the industry’s best interactive media solutions including web sites, CDs and DVDs, online ads, video, mobile applications and more.

For additional information, contact Melissa Inama at (813) 933-9800 ext. 2422.

An emerging leader in the field of functional and integrative medicine has launched a new website and e-commerce platform built by Mercury New Media.

Living Wellness University, an online community dedicated to simplifying complex medical, nutrition, and fitness information, tapped Mercury to help establish LWU as one of the “go-to” communities in the medical field nationally. The wellness group’s founder and medical director, Shilpa P. Saxena, M.D., is developing a growing national reputation as a health innovator; she and her team charged Mercury with creating a site that could leverage LWU’s exclusive content and manage the group’s expanding membership rolls and “tuition” plans.

“When pioneering and improving the way healthcare is provided, we needed a partner with a highly talented, knowledgeable and creative team,” said Dr. Saxena. “Mercury New Media got up to speed on our vision so quickly, and we were able to be constructive in each and every meeting. We could not imagine working with anybody else.”

“We wanted to create a highly functional site that appealed to the group’s diverse target demographic and leveraged Living Wellness’s extensive video content,” said Chris Karlo, partner at Mercury. “We know how important it is for those concerned about their health and wellness to be able to easily navigate the best and most up-to-date information. This drove our commitment to making the site very intuitive for members, especially with such a highly personal and sensitive topic such as health.”

On the new website developed by Mercury, members can log in to access a robust catalog of premium content – which is easily sorted and filtered – update their membership, and keep track of health information of interest to them. They are able to renew their membership in various time increments or can choose to be billed monthly. Mercury built community forums and discussion areas that allow members to share information and ask health questions to Living Wellness University faculty, who then respond online. In addition, as members view content, they are provided with contextually relevant health information from Living Wellness faculty and community members.

Visit the website www.livingwellnessuniversity.com.

For additional information, contact Melissa Inama at (813) 933-9800 ext. 2422.

For the second year in a row, Mercury New Media has been nominated for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s “Small Business of the Year” award.

Each year, a select group of high-performing small businesses (under 250 employees) is nominated for the Chamber’s coveted Small Business of the Year competition. Nominee firms go through a comprehensive application process in which judges score companies based on their management practices, historical leadership, and innovation, in addition to other business metrics.

“We are honored to once again be named as one of the leading small businesses in the greater Tampa Bay area,” said Chris Karlo, partner at Mercury. “This recognition reflects our company’s commitment to excellence at every level.”

Founded in 1981, the Small Business of the Year program seeks to recognize “those small businesses and their leaders who have excelled in the areas of growth, innovation, community involvement, ethical business practices, and the ability to overcome adversity,” according to the Chamber.

For additional information, contact Melissa Inama at (813) 933-9800 ext. 2422.

As part of a comprehensive rebranding initiative developed Franklin Street by Schifino Lee, Mercury New Media has developed a new online presence for the company, one of the fastest growing full-service commercial real estate firms in the Southeast.

“Our family of companies is focused on delivering solutions to owners of income-producing property, and we needed a site that communicated the range and value of our offerings to potential customers,” said Andrew Wright, CEO and Managing Partner, of Franklin Street. “Mercury developed a website for us that clearly articulates our suite of services and communicates our expertise in the lifecycle of our clients’ properties – from acquisition to sale, and all points in between.”

Mercury set out to present a brand-new, highly engaging website for Franklin Street’s online users. “We needed to fully capture the comprehensiveness of their product and service offerings, including real estate, capital services, insurance brokerage, and property and asset management,” said Chris Karlo, partner at Mercury New Media.

“We understand that our clients demand efficiencies in their online marketing and sales tools to complement the hand selling that is done ‘offline.’ The site we built for Franklin Street, as well as our current development of a customized inventory management system for them, illustrates how we can deliver that efficiency and value for clients in what had been a very time-intensive manual set of processes.”

View this website www.franklinstreetfinancial.com.

For additional information, contact Melissa Inama at (813) 933-9800 ext. 2422.

Mercury New Media wins Silver in the Broadcasting Website category in the 2010 W3 Award competition for its work for WPDS – TV Channel 14. Mercury New Media is pleased to add increased recognition to such a valued client.

WPDS-TV Channel 14, Pinellas County Schools’ television station, is a FCC licensed station broadcasting and cablecasting original, locally produced programming and instructional programs from various national sources on local cable systems. The station provides international award winning programming on 24/7/365 to more than 900,000 homes in Pinellas County. Channel 14’s broadcast schedule is anchored by solid educational, instructional and entertainment programming designed to provide an alternative to regular network television.

The W³ Awards honors creative excellence on the web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award winning sites, marketing programs, and video work created for the web. The W³ Awards is the first major web competition to be accessible to the biggest agencies, the smallest firms, and everyone in between.  In its fifth year the W³ Awards received over 3,000 entries from Ad agencies, Public Relations Firms, Interactive Agencies, In-house creative professionals, Web Designers, Graphic designers and Web Enthusiasts. The W³ is sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of the Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, interactive, advertising, and marketing firms. IAVA members include executives from organizations such as Alloy, Brandweek, Coach, Disney, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Estee Lauder, Fry Hammond Barr, HBO, Monster.com, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Victoria’s Secret, Wired, and Yahoo!. In determining winners, entries are judged based on a standard of excellence and scored on a ten point scale by the judges.

For additional information, contact Melissa Inama at (813) 933-9800 ext. 2422.

Mercury was selected as a semi-finalist in the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year competition.  Each year a select group of high performing small businesses (5 ~ 250 employees) are identified to compete for the Chamber’s prestigious Small Business of the Year award.  Nominees firms go through a comprehensive application process that allows the judges to score companies based on their management practices, historical leadership and innovativeness along with other important business metrics. Mercury has been selected to progress to the semi-finalist round in Small Business of the Year competition.

For additional information, contact Melissa Inama at (813) 933-9800 ext. 2422.

As website operators and observers of the business landscape Mercury New Media clients are typically inundated with the latest news in Internet technologies and trends. Of late that means plentiful articles, blogs and TV segments on the coming explosion in social media, mobile applications and cloud computing. While all of those topics will certainly alter the Internet technology and business landscapes they definitely enjoy a high profile.

At the same time there are several technologies and trends that will play equally important roles in your future Internet presence which have yet to receive nearly the same amount of coverage. This article covers one of those unsung technology heroes: HTML5.

HTML5 is actually in fairly broad use right now (you may even be reading this piece with an HTML5-capable browser), will become ubiquitous within a year and will make rich media-oriented/application-centric websites less expensive to build and maintain. In doing so HTML5 will bring drastic changes in the use of Flash and define the future of the mobile Web.

What Is HTML Again?

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is the language used to build web pages; every web page you view is made up of HTML. The current standard version of HTML is HTML version 4 (or HTML4) and became officially adopted in December 1997. Programs like Dreamweaver are native HTML authoring programs and most current word processors, presentation applications and related software provide the ability to export documents in HTML format for web publishing.

Web Pages Haven’t Changed In Over 10 Years?

Obviously web pages look and work much differently than they did when HTML’s last official version was released more than a decade ago. Web pages now contain multimedia elements, extensive interactivity and collaboration capabilities. Since the HTML language itself has not evolved since December 1997 this improved experience and increased richness is due mainly to the advent of browser “plugins” such as Flash.

The following common browser plugins give web pages much of their modern look and operation:

  • Flash
  • JavaScript
  • AJAX
  • Acrobat Reader
  • QuickTime
  • Windows Media Player
  • ActiveX
  • Google Gears

Unfortunately, these are the same plugins that give rise to browser crashes, version conflicts and sluggish Web browsing.

What Is HTML5?

HTML5 is the long-needed upgrade of the web’s native language. HTML5 has already been partially adopted by recently released browsers and will soon be fully adopted by all next-generation browsers. HTML5 is intended to natively provide many of the capabilities provided by browser plugins while also bringing capabilities for richer media and applications than is currently possible by any third party tool or plugin. The true beauty of HTML5 is that all of these features will now be made possible with an open standard that does not depend on any single company or organization. HTML5 will make rich video experiences possible without software from Adobe (Flash), offline capabilities without a gatekeeper (Google) and robust applications that don’t require a single company’s approval (Apple).

Top HTML5 Additions

A full discussion of HTML5’s new features would delve far too deeply into technical arcana and is outside the scope of this article. However, a discussion of HTML5 would be incomplete without coverage of the most important additions for business-oriented websites.

Off-Line Capabilities
The Internet of 2010 provides a huge collection of highly compelling business applications, marketing avenues and consumer-oriented tools. The Internet of 2010 also requires users to be connected to the Internet every second they use those applications, tools and experiences. With HTML5-powered websites and applications users will be able to shop, work and browse while offline and will fulfill any transactions or update changes when their computer re-connects to the Internet.

Drag and Drop
Many websites and applications provide drag and drop capabilities in some key areas. Developing this type of experience with today’s Internet technologies can be an arduous and expensive proposition. HTML5 will make drag and drop and similar desktop behavior part and parcel of the Web experience.

Multimedia
Today’s websites provide extensive options and capabilities to display video and play audio clips. However, almost every one of those multimedia options are provided by proprietary third party software be it Flash, QuickTime or Windows Media Player. HTML5 provides straightforward and standards-based presentation of video and audio without installation or authoring in proprietary software.

Canvas (aka “Flash Killer”)
The use of graphics in web pages was actually an afterthought; the Web was originally intended for the transmission of flat academic and national security documents. The use of GIFs and JPEGs were added in later versions of HTML so that diagrams could be included in university papers and dissertations. This native weakness in HTML provided a healthy opportunity for animation technologies such as Flash to flourish. HTML5 introduces the “Canvas” technology as a framework for high fidelity graphics, animations and interactivity in the browser.

Geolocation
Geolocation refers to the browser’s coming ability to know the geographic location of the website/app user. You may be accustomed to similar capability with your smart phone to display your current location on a map or locate a nearby restaurant. With HTML5 any website or application can seamlessly make use of geolocation to provide similarly useful applications.

Why Should You Care?

As the operator of a serious Internet presence HTML5 will provide an extensive set of abilities that are currently impossible or expensive and will present faithfully across all devices (PCs, slates, smart phones, etc.). Your website will also provide more reliable browsing and your user’s browser will be much more stable. Your online services and applications can become available offline, will be in context to your user’s location and will be faster and easier to update. On top of those functional improvements these advanced features will be less expensive to develop than they are today.

When Is It Coming?

HTML5 is actually here now: many browsers support HTML5 elements and software tools have already been released to market to streamline HTML5 development. Various standards bodies are in the process of reaching agreement on final technical details such as video encoding; after ratification the HTML5 specification will be finalized and fully support in browsers. You can expect broad adoption of the full range of HTML5 by early 2011 with many sites and apps such as Google Apps having features that will work only in HTML5.

What We Recommend

Mercury New Media recommends their customers begin considering the promise of HTML5 this summer. Not all features of HTML5 will apply to your organization but with some careful consideration and joint strategic planning with Mercury New Media many aspects of HTML5 are likely to be identified that will benefit your Internet presence.

After this initial strategic planning Mercury recommends their clients to hold off on HTML5 projects until the fall of 2010 and begin slating deployments for early 2011. By early 2011 the HTML5 standard will be finalized and almost all browsers will support all aspects of HTML5.

Learn More

To learn more about HTML5 or to discuss how to take advantage of HTML5 for your organization, contact your Mercury New Media Relationship Manager.